Most Influential Arizona Punk Records -- #4, JFA, Valley of the Yakes

Categories: Lists


Jodie Foster's Army (JFA) recorded Valley of the Yakes and broke the mold for anyone else coming after them.


Valley of the Yakes easily could be the most influential record on this list except for one thing: Nobody else could have recorded it.

There was no other band on the planet at the time who could have matched JFA's intensity, its blend of influences, and the sheer skate-punk genius the group created with Sandy Lamont at Phoenix's Desert Sounds, on Placebo Records' dime. Because of this, there have been few bands who have even tried to emulate JFA's unique style and sound, unlike many of its equally famous punk rock peers around the world.

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The 10 Best Frontmen and Frontwomen in Phoenix Right Now

Categories: Lists, Local Wire

Jeff Moses
Aydin Immortal of Wolvves

The biggest impression a band leaves usually comes from the lead singer. After all, we all (well, most of us) speak English, but we don't all play music. So understanding and connecting with lyrics and the expressive range of the human voice is usually the easiest thing for a musical layman to do.

But some lead singers build a connection with the audience that is bigger than just words and notes, and they become more than just the vocalist. It is those people we are celebrating with this list. Phoenix has many talented songwriters and singers, but this list is about the ones who bring a little something extra. These are the 10 best front people in Phoenix right now.

Abe Gil - Treasure MammaL
Treasure MammaL is pretty much the weirdest band in town, and all the weirdness starts with their martian of a frontman Abe Gil. For context on how strange Gil is, he once defeated Wayne Coyne in an Instagram battle for weirdness supremacy. In his signature spandex suit, Gil transcends stages, bringing the out-of-control antics that he is known for right into the audiences face. There is no single performer in town better at getting the audience off their ass and on to the dance floor than Gil, though he does usually have help from his spandex-clad harem of backup dancers. He's the type of guy that the most interesting man in the world should aspire to be, on and off stage. But when he's on stage, Gil just exudes a certain type of electricity and excitement that absolutely cannot be ignored. He's one of the best performers in town because of how genuine he truly is about everyone at the show having a good time, while still maintaining an air of sarcasm around everything his band does.

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The Ten Most Underrated Drummers in the History of Rock

Categories: Lists

Jean Fortunet/wikimedia commons
Yes, one of rock's most famous drummers is also underrated.

By Adam Perry

With all the real injustice on the streets -- and in the courtrooms -- of America currently, you might consider it trivial to examine ten drummers who deserve more credit and attention than they've received. And you'd be right. But music is, if nothing else, a way to make sense of this wicked world through pure release; ostensibly, music geekdom -- enjoying and dissecting -- is a meaningful part of that release.

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Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper

Categories: Lists


Ever since dance music decided to overdose on molly, the only thing respectable alternative for pop music lovers is hip-hop.

With that said, we're sorry, hip-hop, but we have to start holding you to a higher standard. You don't want to end up like EDM, do you? Trust us, you don't.

Fix up, look sharp. You're pretty sloppy. So please, take a real hard, close, honest look at yourself. And if you're guilty of one of these five symptoms of wack-hackery, well, do the Gandhi and be the change you wish to see in the world. The future of music depends on you.

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Best 13 Metal Concerts in Phoenix This January

Alaectra Busey
Westfield Massacre

The year 2014 ended with a hell of a heavy metal season, with shows like Yucca Tap Room's "Not So Silent Night" ushering in the New Year -- but unlike the insane holiday spending and the snowbird-thick traffic pace, the show calendar isn't slowing down any time soon.

I'm aware that this Metal Mondays Best Metal Shows of January is a little late, so it doesn't include killer shows like the Dead of Winter Festival this past weekend and Anti-Flag.
However, there's an abundance of shows throughout January, and that's why we compile a monthly list of the best metal and hard rock concerts happening at venues around the Valley.

There are prominent metal acts like Cattle Decapitation, Machine Head and Periphery, and a wealth of local shows, including the ever-intense HannemanFest and a "When Titans Collide" show, where some of the best metal acts in the Valley share the stage.

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Up on the Sun's 10 Top Music Stories of 2014

Categories: Lists

Courtesy of Max Cavalera
Valley resident Max Cavalera, Soulfly singer, released an extremely entertaining autobiography in 2014.

2014 is come and gone, and lots happened. Here's a recap of our most-read stories of the year.

10.) Max Cavalera Once Pissed on a Fan, and Other Tales

Valley resident, former Sepultura singer and Soulfly founder Max Cavalera is nothing if not a character. He's sober now, but when he was drinking. anything could've happened. In this interview, Cavalera revealed some juicy tidbits from his new autobiography, including one revolting, yet hilarious, story.

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The Most Influential Arizona Punk Records: #5 - Meat Puppets, Untitled Seven-Inch EP

Categories: Lists

Joseph Cultice

The amount of pride many of us Phoenicians have in the success of the Meat Puppets is beyond measure. From the standpoint of being part of the "other" scene -- the underground, college rock, or whatever you want to call it -- it was always a point of pride to see the Meat Puppets written up in cool magazines or mentioned by the cream of the crop in the punk and indie rock world as influences.

The Puppets were the local boys that did really well nationally -- at least at first -- in the "alternative" underground. Sure, JFA made a name for themselves and still play skate punk better than anybody, but the Meat Puppets were a collision of genres and a collage of sound, lights, and hair. Of their Arizona contemporaries, the Meat Puppets did it bigger -- and in many cases better -- than anybody else. While the band quickly branched off and essentially distanced themselves from their punk rock roots, their first seven-inch, often referred to as "In a Car," is amazing, totally rockin', and to at least one of their alt-rock peers, highly influential.

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Arizona's 30 Most Influential Musicians

Categories: Lists

SandyMac via WikiMedia Commons
Valley native Stevie Nicks.
Pore through the annals of the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame, and you'll see more than a few musicians who are connected with Arizona in some way. Besides high-profile names like Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronstadt, and Alice Cooper (naturally), there are illustrious artists like Duane Eddy, Nils Lofgren, Sam Moore, and Jason Newsted (who was inducted along with the rest of Metallica in 2009).

And while each of these superstars had an impact on music both here in our fair state and around the world, they are numerous influential guitarists, drummers, singers, and other performers with ties to Arizona that will sadly never score such an achievement. That includes the likes of ├╝ber-producer Bob Hoag, the Meat Puppets, the late Doug Hopkins, or punk rocker Frank Discussion.

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What Should Santa Bring Our Favorite Local and National Musicians This Year

Categories: Lists

William M Connolley, via Wikipedia Commons
Santa's gonna be worn out after making it through this list.

Do you really buy it, for even a minute, that he's up there in the North Pole resting on his laurels while the elves have all the fun? Santa's always keeping tabs, checking his lists, and thinking of that perfect gift.

In an effort to help him out, we thought it might be useful to compile a little list of our own and help Santa take care of the musicians out there. Some have been naughty and some have been nice, and some have been somewhere in between. Here's what we think Santa should bring some of the household names out there, including a few local faves, and plenty of globally known folks your grandma might even know.

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10 Best Things I Heard in Phoenix in 2014

Categories: Lists

Jim Louvau
Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys helped make one of the best concerts New Times Music Editor David Accomazzo saw in 2014.

What a crazy year 2014 was. Personally, I moved to Phoenix, dove into a vibrant music scene in a brand new city, and overall filled my head with new sounds and experiences. I went to a lot of concerts and listened to a lot of new music this year. Here are the 10 best things I heard.

Primus' front-to-back performance of Primus and the Chocolate Factory with The Frog Ensemble (Monday, November 19, at Orpheum Theatre):
Darkness lingers in every corner of Roald Dahl's classic children's novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Gene Wilder and company brightened much of that out of the 1971 film adaptation Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (which Dahl disavowed), but remnants remain. What do you expect from a movie based on a book in which a chocolate factory becomes judge, jury, and almost-executioner of four sinful children? So when Primus announced it was going to remake the film's iconic soundtrack and release it as an album, everyone scratched their heads but ultimately came to the same conclusion -- well, that makes sense. If there's any band that could honor both the dark and playful sides of the source material, it's Primus. When the band came to the criminally underused Orpheum Theatre in November, it pulled out all the stops -- performing the album front-to-back in full costume, complete with seven-foot-tall Oompa Loompas and a giant video screen that showed twisted re-edits of the film. The final product was spellbinding -- much like the movie -- and ended up being one of the best concerts of the year.

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